Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is for skilled foreign tradespeople who have two years of paid work experience in a qualifying trade during the previous five years.

Candidates need to meet all of the conditions set for this Canadian immigration pathway and must apply through the Express Entry system.

For you to be considered for this particular stream, you will be required to have a certificate of qualification or a valid Canadian job offer. Having a successful Invitation to Apply allows the applicant to be apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Strong Demand for Tradespeople

As the economy of Canada grows, many jobs are being created in technical fields and skilled trades. However, there are not enough qualified tradespeople to fill all of these jobs in Canada. Therefore, the Federal Skilled Trades Program was created to give permanent residency to foreign skilled tradespeople who have work experience, post-secondary education, and are also well versed in the French or English language.


To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must meet various conditions. These requirements are only for this particular Canadian immigration program and specific skilled trades.



  • You must have a valid job offer lasting for a year from a Canadian employer for an eligible skilled trade. If you don’t have a valid Canadian job offer, you should have a certificate of qualification from a provincial body.
  • Your language proficiency in English or French must meet the required Canadian language benchmark for this program.
  • You must have full-time, paid work experience in an eligible skilled trade for at least two years during the five years prior to applying.
  • You must have the ability to use your experience and skills in the trade, and your original qualification should be valid for practice in Canada.

Apart from showing documents related to the above achievements, the federal government requires a person to provide evidence of having enough funds to pay for living expenses after moving to Canada (for yourself and your family members).

You will also need training and experience from a Canadian employer and undergo an assessment by a recognized body in Canada. Thus, you will be required to visit the place you are planning to settle and have your assessment.

From there, you can apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program through the Express Entry system.

Work Experience

There are specific skilled trades that qualify for the FSTP which are categorized into six groups and are usually referred to as Skill Level 2 or 3 occupations in Canada’s 2021 National Occupation Classification (NOC).

There are skilled trades listed under each major category. The Skill Level 2 and 3 occupations call for two years of experience, and you must have completed the necessary post-secondary education such as attending a technology institute, community college, or vocational school.

These are the 6 NOC Skill Level 2 and 3 categories that qualify for the FSTP:

  • Major Group 72 : (electrical, industrial, and construction)
  • Major Group 73: (equipment operation and maintenance)
  • Major Group 82: (natural resources related to production, technical and supervisory jobs in agriculture)
  • Major Group 92: (processing, utility supervisors, central control operators, and manufacturing)
  • Minor Group 632: (cooks and chefs)
  • Minor Group 633: (butchers and bakers)

The Express Entry System

The Express Entry system was created in 2015 by the federal government to speed up the immigration of foreign skilled workers with experience to Canada. The application only takes six months to be processed.

For you to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you need first to create an online Express Entry profile, which asks questions concerning your education, occupation, English or French language skills and other questions. A score is then calculated on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If you have one of the highest CRS scores, receive a qualifying job offer or get nominated by a Canadian province, an Invitation to Apply (ITA) may be given.

The CRS awards you points depending on:

  • Language proficiency
  • Ability to adapt to living in Canada
  • Your level of education
  • Your age
  • Your experiences in and out of Canada
  • Whether you got a provincial nomination
  • Whether you have arranged employment
  • Whether you have people you know in Canada

Your test score for language proficiency in English or French must meet the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you will have up to 60 days to file your complete Canadian Visa Application with the supporting documents and the visa decision will usually be made within about six months thereafter.

Benefits of Permanent Residency

People who are approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada via the Federal Skilled Trades Program can receive several benefits such as:

  • studying and working in Canada
  • free public healthcare
  • buying property in Canada
  • living in Canada long-term
  • having bank accounts in Canada
  • getting a Canadian driver’s license
  • receiving the opportunity to start a business in Canada

Moreover, a permanent resident has the option of becoming a Canadian citizen after living in Canada for three years and satisfying other conditions.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not and should not be considered as expert or professional advice.


To find out if you qualify for the FSTP or another Canadian visa program